Next BII chair announced as Red Mist Leisure's Mark Robson

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hot seat: Red Mist Leisure's Mark Robson will succeed Anthony Pender as BII chair
Hot seat: Red Mist Leisure's Mark Robson will succeed Anthony Pender as BII chair

Related tags: Bii, Red mist leisure

Mark Robson has been announced as the next chair for the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII).

Facts 'n' stats

Mark Robson completed a degree in hotel and catering management before he began his career with Sodexo Prestige at Sandown Park Racecourse. He left as deputy general manager in 2003 to take up the role of general manager at the National Film Theatre and London IMAX cinema, with Sodexo.

He founded Red Mist Leisure in 2004 with the acquisition of a tied lease at the Half Moon, Charlwood, Surrey.

Red Mist bought three out of four pubs from Punch and sold the lease on the Half Moon in 2009. Now, the pubco is set to open its 10th pub shortly with its largest investment (£2.5m) to date.

Robson will be chair elect until the group holds its AGM in the summer and his appointment is ratified by members.

His predecessor Anthony Pender,​ who is also Yummy Pub Co managing director, occupied the role for four years and led the organisation’s campaign on business rates.

Robson is the managing director for the Surrey-focused Red Mist Leisure group, which currently operates nine sites​ and is set to open a £2.5m destination pub in Hampshire.

Immensely proud

He said: “I am delighted and immensely proud to be appointed as the new chair of the BII, an organisation that I have long admired.

“I look forward to building on the excellent platform Anthony has established over the past four years and steering the BII forward to provide exceptional guidance and support for licensees and staff in the hospitality industry in these challenging times.”

Mike Clist, chief executive of the organisation praised Pender’s work and said he was looking forward to working with his successor.

He said: “The BII has been transformed over the past four years under the excellent leadership of Anthony Pender.

“Mark’s appointment will ensure that Anthony’s great work will continue into the future.

“The Red Mist Group is the epitome of all the BII stands for, professional standards in excellently run pubs where talented members of staff are able to develop their careers.”

Mark Robson and Red Mist Leisure co-founder Mark Williams
Mark Robson and Red Mist Leisure co-founder Mark Williams

Pride for Pender

Outgoing Pender said it was a “great source of pride” to have been involved in the transformation of the group.

He oversaw a restructure of the BII’s membership and organisational system.

Pender said: “At times, we’ve had to face tough challenges and make some difficult decisions, but I can’t fault the commitment of the entire team at Farnborough.

“I would also like to thank the trustees and the hundreds of stakeholders who have all ensured we have an organisation now that can really focus on training, professionalism and standards.

“I believe there is now a platform for some exciting future projects and in Mark, the BII has the right person to support and steer the organisation.”

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